A Breakfast Hack That May Help You Lose Weight

Your perception about what you eat in breakfast can be manipulated to make you eat more or less

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Editor’s note: This post is offered as information only and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition. It should not be taken as medical or nutrition advice. If you have nutrition or diet concerns, see your healthcare professional in person.

There`s a huge debate on whether eating breakfast is good or bad for health. One study in America revealed that breakfast eaters are healthier than those who skip breakfast as they are more likely to develop healthier eating habits. Another study reported eating breakfast significantly lowers the risk of cardiac diseases.

On the other side, we have the intermittent fasting trend. Research has found that skipping breakfast, and eating in a short, eight-hour window, promotes weight loss and some other health benefits.

A third study indicates it’s not about when you eat your breakfast, it’s about what you think you eat during breakfast that can substantially affect your health, waistline, and how much you eat.

The Study

The study done by Sheffield Hallam University found that how your perception about what you ate in breakfast can be manipulated to make you eat more or less during the rest of the day.

A breakfast patch of three-egg omelet was served, at two different times, to the same group of participants. The trick was to give participants false information about what they ate by telling they ate four and two eggs respectively.

When tracking how many calories participants consumed during the day was tracked, as well as how much hungry they felt, the research team found interesting results. When participants thought they ate just two eggs on breakfast, they consumed more calories and said they felt hungry much quicker than when they thought they ate a 4-egg omelet.

This change was rather mentally not physically, as the team led by Professor Steven Brown found there was no change in participants ghrelin or leptin levels which meant the hunger, or satiety, they felt were make-believe.

“The data from the Ghrelin analysis showed no significant difference. Although participants ate more food when they thought they had received the smaller breakfast, they did not have a significantly different Ghrelin response.” Brown said.

Brown also believed there may not be a difference between eating breakfast in the morning or in the middle of the day —as in intermittent fasting. What you eat, not when affects how many calories you will pack during the rest of the day.

“If someone fasted from their evening meal until 2 p.m. while someone else fasted from their evening meal and then ate at 8 a.m. would they share the same results? There are a number of parameters that change, so it would be difficult to compare across the two people.” 

“However, I’d still expect both people to respond the same in the sense that if they thought they had a smaller or larger meal once they ate, they would go on to eat different amounts through the rest of the day.” Brown explained.

So, what makes a healthy, satisfying breakfast that inspires fullness?

Low-sugar, fiber-rich whole grains, veggies, a small piece of fruit, and more importantly protein. Recent studies found that high-protein breakfast improves weight management in adolescents and prevents body fat gain.

Brown also believes high protein is the best at delivering satiety. “Evidence suggests that the most satiating macronutrient is protein —when compared to equi-calorie portions of other macronutrients— so high protein meals such as chicken and fish should be relatively healthy while also delivering a good amount of satiety and as a result makes people feel fuller for longer.”

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